Having starred in shows such as Clearly Blonde and billing herself as That Funny Blonde Girl, Anne Marie Scheffler is clearly a woman who doesn’t shy away from her stage persona.
But make no mistake — while Scheffler may embrace her role as the ditzy blonde, there’s more to this actor, writer and comedian than her golden locks.
“I love to create my own pieces because I really have something to say,” she said. “Being on stage means I’m able to really create my own message.”
In this instance, the message is motherhood is not as easy as it looks.
While biking to an audition, fittingly, Scheffler came up with the idea forSuddenly Mommy, a play she wrote and starred in about a self-confessed bad mom who juggles her career and motherhood.
“One second I almost had a TV series, and the next second I’m covered in barf,” she said.
“So I thought wouldn’t it be funny to tell this story, which is, all of a sudden I’m a mom.”
Suddenly Mommy is Scheffler’s seventh one-woman show, which she compares to standup style comedy.
The mother of three lives near Greenwood and Danforth avenues and has performed across Canada and in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
She was a regular cast member in Toronto’s Second City national touring company and had her own one-hour comedy special on CTV and the Comedy Network. She also does scriptwriting, voiceovers and has appeared in more than 40 commercials.
The comedian, who got married after she discovered she was pregnant, said she believes many women can relate to the show’s protagonist.
“We’re encouraged to (focus on) our career first,” she said. “And then you’re like holy crap I’m in my 30s, I’d better have babies before I don’t have any ovaries left.”
Suddenly Mommy first debuted at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival to lukewarm reviews, so Scheffler realized she had to do something fresh.
“I really had to work it to find why this isn’t a typical mom show,” she said. “Mine is different because I’m a bad mom.”
The show chronicles Anne Marie’s struggle in pursuing the glam and glitz of showbiz while changing diapers in her spare time.
“The more I work on the show, the more I realize I’m trying to run away from being a mom,” she said. “And that’s part of the show.”
She said getting into the headspace of a bad mom made her look critically at her own motherhood.
“It really forces me to be a better mom,” she said. “It’s incredible.”
A middle child in a family of six who originally wanted to go into dramatic acting, Scheffler credits her own family life as part of the reason she went into comedy.
“I think I was just trying to be loud and funny for attention,” she said. “I guess I never stopped.”